NOVI, Mich. – Controversy has entered the Michigan governor's race after state Sen. Patrick Colbeck voiced an anti-Muslim message aimed at a fellow candidate.
Colbeck was giving a presentation when he aimed the message at gubernatorial candidate Dr. Abdul El-Sayed. Colbeck is a conservative Michigan state senator who believes the Muslim Brotherhood is a threat to the country.
El-Sayed, a former Detroit city medical director, is Colbeck's polar opposite politically. Colbeck believes El-Sayed has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, which set off a firestorm of outrage.
"I'm raising concerns about affiliations with an organization called the Muslim Brotherhood, and that is not a disparagement against all Muslims," Colbeck said. "It's those who espouse the beliefs of the Muslim Brotherhood."
He claims El-Sayed, while at the University of Michigan, was the vice president of the Muslim Students' Association, which Colbeck claims shares in the Muslim Brotherhood's belief that it needs to overthrow Western civilization through jihad.
"Dr. Abdul El-Sayed was vice president of that Muslim Students' Association, so there is an affiliation with that, with friendly organizations, and I think the key question to ask Dr. El-Sayed is whether or not he espouses the beliefs of the Muslim Brotherhood."
El-Sayed's political supporters said he was a part of the Muslim Students' Association -- a school-sanctioned student group -- but does not in any way agree with or espouse the Muslim Brotherhood ideals.
"Of course, I knew that in choosing to run for governor as an unapologetic, proud Muslim and American, I was going to contend with the ugly face of white supremacy that Donald Trump and his friends have sanctioned," El-Sayed said in a statement. "But I know that every day I serve this state and this country be holding us to our ideals and our constitution, which empower and inspire me to serve every single person in our state, regardless of my ethnicity, color or faith."
Colbeck said much of his information about the Muslim Brotherhood came in what was called the Holy Land Foundation trial, when the operation's Palestinian-American leaders were sent to prison for running a terrorist organization in Texas 10 years ago.